A participatory approach to the development of indicators

Community Pulse indicators were developed from the ground up, not from the top down. Approximately 90 residents attended a town hall meeting in 2001 to discuss how they knew their neighbourhood was getting better. Participation was open to local residents and businesses, promoted through the newspaper and direct invitations sent to constituents of Council departments and services. Residents brainstormed 220 indicators for measurement, which were then refined, and a means of measuring their progress was devised (Badham 2011). As intended, these indicators and measures are not scientific and complex, but are things noticeable in everyday life. This means that they are easy to relate to and offer a simple way of assessing whether progress is occurring or not.

While the citizens of CoPP are the primary beneficiaries, multiple partnerships exist within the project from data collection to dissemination. Within the Council, there is interdepartmental collaboration and horizontal exchange of information. Housing Development, Health Services, Waste Management, Street and Beach Cleaning, Sustainable Transport, Community and Health Development, and Governance departments work to coordinate data and, when reliable second source data is available, it is aggregated. Public data is sourced from federal and state government levels, coupled with data from private power and water companies. State sources have included the Victoria Police, the Department of Sustainability and Environment, the Office of Housing, the Department of Education and Early Learning, and the Victorian Electoral Commission.

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